Creativity As An Identity
I've had several identity evolutions over my lifetime. Prior to having children, I was a very different person. When I was living on my own, I spent the majority of my time not at home if I wasn't at work. I was playing softball and volleyball quite seriously, attending some kind of practice or game 6 out of 7 nights. I was much more of a social butterfly, and I was ambitious in everything. When it came to work, I was chasing, literally at speed, trying to get promotions and move up. I was the never-take-a-break, stay-late-and-don't-charge-the-time, worker. I did well. I surely did get promoted and get new opportunities every couple of years.
And then I had my son. And my daughter 2 years later.
A few years ago a colleague of mine, at a difficult point in her life tried to explain to me the dilemma of trying to retain her pre-children identity. She had long held personal passions, but in being what I can only describe as an incredibly loving and excellent mother to her daughters, she had naturally put aside her own interests. I couldn't relate at the time, but I remembered that conversation vividly. When it came time to plan for having children, I told my husband that I never wanted to lose my identity. I never wanted to not be able to pursue my passions just because I was a mom. And at the same time, I didn't want to pursue my passions and therefore lose my ability to be a good mom. We both vowed to work as a team to ensure that neither of us got lost.
But things happen naturally and there's a degree of it that you can't control. My son was born and simply by virtue of having spare time in maybe half hour spurts, of which that time was spent deciding if I was going to shower or eat, I dropped softball entirely. My body struggled to recover from pregnancy and I've not been ever able to move with any bit of the little agility I had. I admit I cared less about work. I still work hard, and would consider myself still doing well in my career... but my approach to the work completely changed. When I went back to work the first week after my maternity leave, I realized how easily things continued without me. Work did well before me, and in my absence they were always going to be able to find a way to do well again. It made me wonder why I (mentally) took work home with me, and carried it as I drifted off to sleep in bed.
I had to be true to myself though. I had to retain SOME part of myself. The good news is that I had children and I didn't lose my passions. But because I recognize that I have about 90% less free time than I used to have, that I had to spend that 10% so very wisely. I learned to focus that time on the few passions that really meant something to me, and would give me the most benefit.
I still coach volleyball. A lot. I have been so fortunate to say that I've demonstrably made a positive impact in the lives of young athletes. I couldn't possibly not continue to do that. And so, I decided to pursue coaching as a part-time career. And in doing so, vowed that if I was going to do it, I was going to do the very best at it that I could.
And the second passion, is everything that is manifesting on this site. My creative side is always itching to come out. And it comes out in almost every type of crafting hobby that exists. It is a passion that is impossible to ignore. I have always had the desire to be creative and to be a maker of things.
So here I am, at 1AM on a week night, with my husband, toddler, and baby, all sleeping in their rooms, while I pour effort into my side hustle. Even though my daughter will be awake at 7AM to feed. Because I want to be a maker of things... of positive impact, of crafty things, AND of little humans.
Thanks for joining me on this adventure!